NEWPORT COAST — The Resort at Pelican Hill celebrated the first harvest of its olive trees Friday by pressing some organic virgin olive oil that it hopes to use in the resort kitchen and as bottled gifts for guests.
The Newport Beach resort is dotted with 750 olive trees of Manzanillo and Sevillano varieties, the latter of which were raised in Northern California. The majority are around 40 years old, but the Sevillanos, of which Pelican Hill has 25, date back 100 years.
Mike Ahmer, the resort's landscape manager, noticed fallen olives on the resort grounds and wondered what to do with them.
"The olives were falling on our pavers and making a mess," Ahmer said. "I thought maybe we could find someone to pick them."
Ahmer then called Thom Curry, co-owner of Temecula Olive Oil Co., with a barrel full of questions, needing to know everything from how to make olive oil to tips on pruning and pest management. As Ahmer described the resort's situation, they realized that working together might be the best solution.